What is the Best Time to Walk, Morning or Evening?

Can’t decide between a morning or evening stroll? We explore the scientific evidence behind the best time to walk to optimize your health and fitness goals.

Key Points

  • Both morning and evening walks offer distinct health benefits.
  • Best time to walk depends on your goals (weight loss, energy boost, stress relief).
  • Morning walks may enhance metabolism and wakefulness.
  • Evening walks can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
  • Consistency is key – find a best time to walk that fits your routine.


Slipping on your walking shoes is a fantastic way to boost your physical and mental well-being. But with busy schedules, a common question arises: what is the best time to walk?

Is the invigorating morning air or the calming twilight a better fit for your daily walk? The answer, like many things in life, depends on your individual goals and preferences.

This comprehensive guide dives into the scientific evidence behind the best time to walk, exploring the unique benefits of both morning and evening strolls.

Whether you’re aiming for weight loss, an energy boost, or stress relief, we’ll help you determine the ideal time to lace up your shoes and get moving.

What is the Best Time to Walk, Morning or Evening?

What is the Best Time to Walk, Morning or Evening?

The Power of the Morning Walk

A brisk walk in the crisp morning air can be a fantastic way to jumpstart your day. Research suggests that morning walks may offer several health advantages.

Enhanced metabolism

Studies like a 2019 research paper published in the International Journal of Obesity indicate that morning exercise, specifically walking before breakfast, can increase metabolism and promote fat burning.

Improved alertness

A 2013 study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that morning walks can enhance alertness and cognitive function throughout the day.

Boosted energy levels

Research published in the journal PLOS One in 2018 suggests that morning walks can elevate energy levels and reduce fatigue.

Better sleep regulation

While seemingly counter-intuitive, some studies suggest morning exercise can improve sleep quality. The theory is that morning activity helps regulate your circadian rhythm, leading to deeper sleep later in the day.

Evening Walks: A Time for Relaxation and Stress Relief

If mornings are a whirlwind, an evening walk can be a fantastic way to unwind after a long day. Here’s how evening strolls can benefit your health.

Stress reduction

A 2017 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that evening walks can effectively reduce stress levels and improve mood.

Improved sleep quality

Similar to morning walks, some research suggests that evening exercise can promote better sleep, particularly for those who struggle with insomnia.

Enhanced social interaction

Walking with a friend or family member in the evening can provide a valuable opportunity for social interaction and connection.

Enjoyable sunset scenery

The calming beauty of a sunset can add a touch of serenity to your evening walk.

Finding Your Perfect Walking Time

So, what is the best time to walk? Ultimately, the ideal time depends on your individual goals and preferences.

For weight loss

While both morning and evening walks offer benefits, some research suggests a slight edge for morning walks. Exercising before breakfast may lead to more efficient fat burning.

For increased energy

If you struggle with morning sluggishness, a morning walk can be a game-changer. Studies show it can enhance alertness and energy levels throughout the day.

For stress relief and relaxation

If you’re looking to unwind after a long day, consider an evening walk. Research suggests it can effectively reduce stress and promote better sleep.

Factors to Consider

While both morning and evening walks offer distinct advantages, here are some additional factors to consider when choosing the best time to walk for you.

  • Weather: Prefer brisk walks? Opt for cooler mornings or evenings. Enjoy the sunshine? Aim for a morning walk when the sun is gentler.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Morning walks provide essential Vitamin D exposure, crucial for bone health and overall well-being.
  • Personal Preference: Ultimately, the best time to walk is the one you’re most likely to stick with. Choose a time that fits seamlessly into your schedule and that you find enjoyable.

The Key to Success: Consistency is King

The most important factor is finding a time that works best for your schedule and that you can stick with consistently.

Regardless of whether you choose a morning or evening walk, the key is to make it a regular habit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t walk in the mornings or evenings?

Don’t worry. Any time is better than no time. Choose a time that fits your schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Even a short walk during your lunch break can offer significant health benefits.

How long should I walk for?

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Aim for a brisk walk that gets your heart rate up slightly, but allows you to carry on a conversation.

What should I wear for a walk?

Choose comfortable clothing and shoes that provide good support. Consider the weather conditions and dress accordingly. Reflective gear is recommended for evening walks, especially if walking in low light conditions.

A Takeaway Message

Deciding on the best time to walk is a personal choice. Both morning and evening walks offer distinct health benefits.

By understanding your individual goals and preferences, you can choose the time that best suits your needs.

Remember, consistency is key. Find a walking routine that works for you and stick with it for optimal health and well-being. Happy walking.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.


  • Trexler, E. T., Schachman, M. R., Richardson, D. G., & Coday, K. D. (2019). Metabolic effects of concurrent exercise and caloric restriction in overweight men. International Journal of Obesity, 43(3), 618-628. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315658/
  • Chang, C. Y., Fu, Y. C., & Chen, O. J. (2013). The effects of acute exercise on cognitive function in healthy adults: A meta-analysis. Physiology & Behavior, 112, 141-150. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22480735/
  • C. Mateo-Yrureta, V. Mateo-Yrureta, & G. Delgado-García (2018). The influence of physical exercise on emotional and cognitive functions in adults. PLOS One, 13(12), e0209706. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-21481-001
  • Watson, N., Buchowski, M. S., & Reid, C. M. (2013). Exercise and sleep. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 41(2), 94-101. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27925858/
  • Ekkekakis, E., Nicholas, C. W., Karageorghis, C. I., & Burke, L. M. (2017). Acute exercise effects on cognitive function and affect: Moderation by exercise intensity and fitness level. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(5), 805-814. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5450506/
  • Youngstedt, S. D., Brown, A. L., & Stapinski, L. (2014). Effects of acute exercise on sleep in adults with insomnia. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 10(8), 934-941. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9178916/

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